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Netcenter Boosts Business Channels

In a move aimed at expanding its small business offerings, Netscape Communications Corp. today announced agreements with two content providers.

Virtran and Women.com, are to provide new content and services for the Netscape Netcenter site. Financial terms were not provided.

Virtran, developer of industry-specific search and transaction engines, said its agreement with Netscape includes a co-branded version of its free SmartShip service, to reside on Netcenter's Business and Small Business channels. SmartShip allows users to track the progress of express packages, as well as compare rates of various overnight courier and express companies.

Netcenter is also adding "Her Business," a new service from Women.com, designed to deliver a range of content and tools targeted at women-owned businesses. Features will include legal, management and finance trends, first person success stories from women business leaders, and a weekly Q&A session with leading management experts.

Netscape said it is augmenting its business tools to meet the increase in the small business industry online. A recent report from International Data Corp. cited by the company shows the number of small businesses using the Internet grew from 19.7% in 1996 to currently 41.2%.

"Netcenter's Small Business channel is about providing people with the tools and services they need to work more efficiently," said Ken Rutsky, director of business and news channels for Netscape Netcenter. "Our partnerships with Virtran and Women.com contribute to the rapid momentum of Netscape Netcenter, while enabling us to better serve our customers.

"By combining the specialized expertise of Virtran and Women.com with the tools and services offered on the Small Business channel, Netcenter strengthens its position as the richest online resource for businesses," said Rutsky.



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